Greetings, District 5160 Rotarians!

Happy New Year! I don’t think I’ve ever been so glad to see an old year end in my life. I’ll bet you may feel the same way. But as I like to say, Rotarians are relentlessly optimistic, so let’s now focus on the new opportunities that Rotary can open for us in 2021.

While the majority of us wait for our COVID vaccinations, and social distancing and other precautions will be with us for several more months, let’s look at ways that we can help our fellow community members. Food insecurity continues to be a major concern for many people so support of local food banks and food delivery programs, such as Meals on Wheels, remains vital and appreciated – and are ways that individual or small groups of Rotarians can make a BIG difference. Working with local school districts to see how members can help students (and parents, teachers and administrators) who are having difficulty with distance learning is also a worthy project. And continuing to make donations to The Rotary Foundation so that grant-supported projects in our district and around the world can continue should remain a priority.

When planning your club’s fundraising events, please consider partnering with local businesses. Many of them are struggling and would appreciate your support. They can earn revenue and maybe gain new customers, and your club can raise funds to in turn support your local projects and causes. It’s a win/win/win!

What about our clubs and members? The vast majority of us haven’t met in person with our follow members in more than 10 months – and we miss that social interaction. (I sure do!) I’m very pleased that many of our clubs have made the most of Zoom meetings and have brought in terrific speakers and programs that wouldn’t be possible in person, and quite a few have inducted new members who haven’t been to an in-person Rotary meeting or event yet. But I realize that many other clubs have members who don’t like Zoom meetings or are suffering from “Zoom fatigue.” What to do?

Please consider trying a virtual/in-person (V/I-P) or hybrid meeting. One of our district clubs, Lamorinda Sunrise, recently created a video showing how a V/I-P meeting can be created and the kind of programs that are possible. I shared the link with all members in December but here it is again: click here At the request of Rotary International, this video will soon be shared with ALL Rotary clubs around the world but we got if first because it was created by District 5160 Rotarians. THANKS!

We are also going to get our members together virtually at the “All Aboard!” District Conference, April 30-May 2. We are planning for an exciting, energetic and FUN experience for all members! Through February 15, you can register for only $20 – right from the district website’s home page. BTW, the RI Board of Directors just announced that the 2021 International Convention planned for June in Taiwan will also be going virtual. Details to follow.

THANKS for continuing to open new opportunities – and remember to Tell YOUR Rotary Story!

Best Rotary regards,


-Mark Roberts

District Governor 2020-2021